Negros Occidental wants border with Oriental to remain closed in looming COVID-19 policy clash
BACOLOD CITY—Officials of Negros Occidental have decided to shut its borders with Negros Oriental to stop the spread of SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the number of COVID-19 cases in Negros Oriental was higher than Negros Occidental’s as of Jan. 9.
Bimbo Miraflor, Negros Oriental provincial government spokesman, said a meeting was set with representatives of the Negros Occidental Inter-Agency Task Force in Mabinay town to discuss the border concerns.
Miraflor said while there were some who opposed the proposal to reopen the borders, “we will try to iron out things on possible protocols and procedures that can be applied” when the borders open.
Miraflor said Negros Oriental businessmen supported the reopening of the borders.
Lacson said Negros Occidental officials, however, will not join the meeting in Mabinay.
“Negros Oriental reached out to us and we will just inform them that the consensus is to keep the borders closed,” Lacson said.
“We will inform them that after our meeting with our local chief executives we would like to keep the status quo,” he added.
When asked how long the borders will remain closed, Lacson said “we will be observing how it goes.”
But Lacson said Negros Occidental will continue to allow the return of residents stranded in other parts of the country.
“From time to time local governments will request for moratoriums on arrivals when our quarantine facilities reach full capacity,” he said.
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